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GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Emma Coffey, Thornton, “Money on the Mountain”

Emma Coffey pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The goal of my project was to provide my peers at Mountain Range High School with more access to financial education in a fun, interesting, relevant, and interactive way. I accomplished this by writing a video series to be shown on the weekly video announcements. The videos were given a question-and-answer format, and asked basic questions such as “What is a budget?” or “How much of your income should be put into savings?” I have also created a Facebook page called “Money on the Mountain” that is updated periodically with videos, money management articles, financial facts, and more.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I have always wanted to earn the Gold Award to make a difference in my community. I wanted to open the door for discussion of the lack of financial literacy being taught to teenagers. I also pursued my Gold Award to challenge myself to learn new things and develop my leadership skills. I am very satisfied with my decision to go for the Gold.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

My project addresses the lack of financial education among a specific group of people: teenagers. I believe that because of this project, more students will be aware of the importance of being financially savvy.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I am not the same person I was two years ago, and I can attribute this in a large part to earning the Gold Award. Communicating with other people was a large part of my project. It is also an extremely important life skill. Being a naturally shy person, it was difficult for me at first to approach others about my ideas. Now, without hesitation, I am able to clearly communicate my thoughts. I have also learned the value of tenacity and not giving up, even when it seemed like no one was on my side, or when it seemed like I would never finish. Having the ability to work with/lead a team is another skill that was improved by completing this project. Lastly, while educating others, I have also educated myself about financial literacy. Not only was this project designed to help other people, but an opportunity for myself to grow as an individual and as a leader. This project was all about the journey and the skills I learned along the way to achieve my final result.

How did you make your project sustainable?

My project will be carried on at Mountain Range High School through the Investment Club/DECA. The club will be responsible for posting regularly to the Facebook page and will work with the media department to ensure a replaying of the videos each year. Additionally, a binder will be left behind. This binder will outline all of the tasks and responsibilities that are important to the success of the project, such as when and what to post on the Facebook page, and when to show more videos on the announcements.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

Financial literacy is a skill that is lacking throughout the world. This problem isn’t only seen in the United States. Low financial literacy rates have been reported in Australia, Russia, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Germany. Furthermore, teaching students how to manage their money more wisely will help them to become more responsible citizens, both locally and globally.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I will remember the obstacles I faced and how I overcame them. While this may not seem like the happiest thing to remember, knowing that I overcame a lot of obstacles to reach this point makes me feel amazing.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

Earning my Gold Award has assisted me in learning valuable, lifelong skills. These skills (communication, hard work, tenacity) will be very useful for when I enter a professional career. The Gold Award has impacted my life so much that it has even been a guide for my college search process. Because my project focused on financial literacy, I have become more aware about money. This includes becoming aware of the cost of college. Instead of waiting until I graduate college to figure out how to pay for it, I have chosen the school that has given me the best deal financially. Because of this project, my new goal is to graduate college without having any student loans.

Why do you feel the Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

The Girl Scout Gold Award exemplifies key qualities that define a Girl Scout. The mission of Girl Scouts is to “build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.” The Gold Award teaches girls these qualities, and I feel that I have grown as a leader and a Girl Scout by doing this project. Girl Scouts has been a part of my life for 12 years, and I feel that earning the Gold award is a perfect way to demonstrate what I have learned over the years and a memory that will last for years to come.

***IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email

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